Have You Deleted Old Posts? I’m Re-Thinking My Stance!

Have you deleted old posts? Is it important to keep your content relevant?

Last year I published a post where I was very against deleting old content. The gist of my post was:

I never delete any of my old posts. I don’t think you need to. Why would you want to remove the content you worked so hard to write?

I totally understand why my stance was that way. I like being able to see where I came from.

But recently, Lisa from Elembee talked about why she deleted almost 500 posts on her blog. And you know what? I kind of love why she did it. I’d encourage you to read her whole post, but here’s one of her points:

Keeping old posts unrelated to the purpose of my site today would have meant forcing you to sort through irrelevant posts to find what you need.

Lisa Butler on “Why I Deleted Almost 500 Posts”

My blog has changed

Nose Graze has gone through a lot of different phases.

  1. I jumped into book blogging, doing everything I thought I was “supposed” to do with a book blog. I participated in memes, I did author interviews even though I don’t actually like READING them that much, and I published a lot of short, kind of shallow posts.
  2. I moved away from memes and posted a ton of book reviews and some blogging tips.
  3. Now, I’m almost exclusively about blogging tips.

Even though I’m almost exclusively about blogging tips these days, books and reviews are still part of my life. I will keep posting them when I have them—I just have a lot less of them. So I don’t see myself deleting my reviews any time soon.

But what about those memes?

My old posts are embarrassing

I have a lot of old posts that I’m not proud of. I have posts that look and feel pointless and just completely… irrelevant. I’m not sure how many people will actually read those old posts, but I look at them and feel a little embarrassed. Are those things I want on my blog? When I get new readers who are going through all my old posts, do I want them to see those?

Not really.

I want my posts to support my focus

I want my posts to feel relevant. I want them to contribute to my overall message. I want them to be high quality.

My old posts aren’t in line with those goals.

And while I can acknowledge that, actually deciding to delete my posts is scary as hell! This is way scarier than the time I deleted my categories. These are my posts! They feel like my blogging babies.

Deleting posts might be the right move, but it’s so hard to actually do it.

Have you ever deleted old posts?

What do you think about this? Good idea or is it crazy?

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I'm a 27 year old California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). I like to inject a little #girlpower into the WordPress development community by teaching women how to be coding badasses. more »

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53 comments

  1. I haven’t really ever thought about deleting my old post before but I can see a good reason for it. My reviews when I first started out in 2007 are so embarrassing..lol. They were horrid and like one short little paragraph..lol. I may have to give this some thought. πŸ™‚

  2. I’m like you and have def considered deleting all those old meme posts. They really don’t add any value to my blog, especially how it is right now and where I want it to go. I always wanted to delete my very 1st post, since it’s the only one in Dec of 2009, when I started my blog, and it’s just nonsense. But then again, it’s my FIRST post, so that’s why it’s still there. But yeah, I’m thinking the memes have got to go!

    1. Aww, deleting your first post would be hard. Surprisingly, mine is pretty decent. I started out good, then went downhill a bit, then got better again, haha!

  3. I think if a blog moves in a different direction, it definitely makes sense to delete old posts that detract from that direction. And embarrassing posts? Sure, delete them! I think we all feel this sense that, “But they’re historical! They track my growth as a writer or blogger!” But we really don’t need to advertise our awkward growing stages to others, if we don’t want to.

    I probably have some old posts (memes, definitely!) that I may question the value of on my blog…but no one ever looks at those posts, either. They get zero page views. So I’m not sure they’re really bringing the blog down. πŸ˜‰

  4. Hi there – I had at one time thought about deleting some old posts and in fact did delete a couple but I no longer do this. For one thing, I can see how my book reviews have changed (evolved) over time.
    @dino0726 fromΒ 
    FictionZeal – Impartial, Straighforward Fiction Book Reviews

  5. Very thoughtful. Your blog has undergone major changes in purpose, so deleting posts may be a good thing. I also think if you have posts that embarrass you, definitely get rid of them! My blog was one thing 7 years ago, which included books & entertainment media, but now is exclusively books/TV/movies. I won’t delete my craft and posts, though, because they’re interesting and not embarrassing. I think each blogger needs to look at their individual situation.

    Elizabeth recently posted: A Letter to CBS
    1. I think you’re right that each person needs to consider this for their own blog. πŸ™‚ There’s no global right or wrong answer.

  6. I haven’t thought about deleting old posts yet, basically because I am not a vet blogger yet. I’ve only been blogging since January and while my posts from the beginning aren’t that great, I don’t have as much content as I would like yet.

    Shawna

    P.S I HAD to include you in my latest post! πŸ™‚

  7. I’ve deleted a bunch of old posts! Most of them were super short (like three sentences) “reviews” that I wrote before I had my blog and just copied over from GR so it would look like I had more content. They really served no purpose once I actually built up my content, so they had to go! I actually realized I had missed some a couple weeks ago and deleted more! I don’t think there’s anything wrong with deleting posts that are no longer relevant, or really never were.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Angie! I just have a hard time letting go. It physically pains me to click “delete” on something I’ve created. I’m a total hoarder. I still have every single ugly design and Photoshop document I made 10 years ago, even though I have no reason to own those!

  8. While I don’t think we have enough content yet to start worrying about this, I think you have good points on what to get rid of. Luckily, we haven’t done memes outside of ttt and never participated in book tours (I think Ashley did one and she wasn’t a fan of it) so we don’t have that kind of fillerish content. But it is a good reminder not to do it! Maybe when we hit our anni I’ll go through and comb for stuff to ditch.

    Great post!

    Anne @ Lovely Literature recently posted: Review: When We Were Animals
    1. Thanks Anne. πŸ™‚ I definitely think this is something to think about once a year or so. It’s always good to do a little spring cleaning!

  9. I totally agree! I want to get rid of some of my really old stuff but kinda want to keep it to remember those times. So that’s why I’ve decided that when I have the time to get back into blogging again (Because I miss it so much) I’m just going to begin fresh the ideas I’ve accumulated and the new direction I want to take. That way I can fulfill both of my wishes. But I have definitly felt the STRONG desire to delete. Haha it’s really interesting to think about though because there was a time when I was so proud of those old posts. It’s cool to see how much I’ve changed over the years.

    Love, Inkykins

    1. I WOULD LOVE FOR YOU TO BLOG AGAIN!!! That would be amaaaazing! The idea of starting fresh sounds great too. πŸ™‚

      1. Thanks!! πŸ˜€ I’m thinking of rebooting in late summer, maybe as a birthday present to myself. I might hit you up to help me. I agree. It’s quite exciting.

    1. Yeah that’s a good solution. I did that with two of my posts a few months ago. You can always restore them that way. πŸ™‚

  10. When I moved back to my blogger blog a couple weeks ago after not posting on it since 2013, I deleted everything, which amounted to about 350 posts. So this includes anything from reviews to discussions to memes – everything. I had no interest in combing through and updating them to the new look and feel of my blog going forward. I’ve also changed a lot in the last two-four years and I had no idea if those opinions still matched up to how I think now. Finally, I’m trying to get away from blogging primarily as a “book blogger.” All this combined means it was pretty easy just to hit that Delete button and move on.

    Before that, I had done periodic maintenance that involved deleting a bunch of posts. Old filler posts, old read-a-thon posts and things like that. Completely useless content that had no purpose anymore now that those particular events had been long over.

    I understand the idea behind not deleting anything – for accountability purposes, to look back on and gauge how far you’ve come, or whatever reason. But that doesn’t work for me because, like you, some of my old content is just embarrassing.

    Bekka recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Authors
    1. Starting fresh sounds great. πŸ™‚ I definitely think that’s a good solution for some people. I have too many posts that I value to do that, but I totally get why you did it and I would too under different circumstances.

  11. At one point I started updating and deleting old posts, but it was so slow, and so much work that I stopped. I plan to eventually update the reviews to by current format, and if I ever get that done, I’ll think about the rest.

    Sarah M recently posted: Review: Dead Beat
  12. I have thought about deleting older (embarrassing) posts a gazillion times. The other post you had awhile back convinced me not to delete them regardless of how old or embarrassing they were because I wrote them and worked hard on them. {Although a post I worked hard on today compared to a post I worked hard on before is miles apart from each other but that comes with posting experience I guess… } Anyway… where my blog is 99% book reviews I’ve still decided not to delete any posts regarding reviews but I may take a look at my other ones. The thing is, nobody reads them… not even I find them interesting any longer so why take up space? I even have a category titled “Old and Inactive Memes”… I know where I’m going to start the deleting process…

    Great post, Ashley!

    Carrie recently posted: Nobody’s Dream, Kallypso Masters
  13. I did a clean out not too long ago. I’ve been blogging a while, and a lot of my reviews from back in the day are just… sad of a sorts. I didn’t know what to look for nor was I a developed writer. A lot of those reviews are from old reviewers who have long since gone. Memes I no longer participate in, and I wasn’t all that interested in in the first place. Horrible formatting that make the post impossible to read (transferred from blogger), and I don’t have time to reformat 500 reviews. There are many many reasons, but overall, if the content is something you don’t want on your blog, then I see nothing wrong with it going bye bye!

  14. I guess I kind of did? When I first set up my blog, I threw all my Goodreads reviews on it, then quickly realized no one was going to go back and look at them; so I reverted them to drafts, and now I edit them up and post them here and there as mini-reviews. Gives older books some love and gives me half-way done posts when I need them. πŸ™‚

    I don’t know that I would ever DELETE delete anything, but I could see myself reverting some of the early stuff back to draft at some point…maybe. I’m probably way too lazy.

  15. I go through and delete old features or memes that I don’t do anymore. I hate seeing the category or tag related to them. Why let people go see these things when I don’t make efforts to them anymore. It’s like keeping clothes from highschool. I’m never going to wear them again, they are just taking up space, why keep them just because I liked them, or memories. I’m too OCD for that.

    My big one right now, is old reviews. I’ve evolved so much in my reviews, that I really want to go back and redo a whole bunch of my reviews… but how do I do that? Do I keep the old and link them to the new one? Delete the old? Post it as a new post entirely? Update the old post? It’s a hard and scary decision.

    Ariel @ Fictively recently posted: A Fictive Week (7) We have a tooth!
  16. Thank you for sharing my post! It was definitely hard for me to get rid of the posts, but it felt right. I’ve actually been really surprised by the response to my post β€” seems like most people support deleting posts, especially if your vision changes!

    Lisa recently posted: A 20-minute blogging challenge
  17. I’ve been thinking of deleting some posts made in the past, especially filler posts such as memes, but I’d also like to take a look at some of my first posts and see how much I’ve grown in almost a year — I started blogging in June 2014. I can definitely understand old posts making you cringe; don’t we all kind of want to delete our past virtual selves? I know I stumbled upon accounts from when I was 16 and went “OH GOD SHUT UP” πŸ˜‰

    Inge @ Bookshelf Reflections recently posted: Review: The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
  18. I actually deleted about 40 posts just yesterday whilst spring cleaning. They were mostly memes or poorly written posts from the Olden Days that I was slightly embarrassed about or didn’t want anyone to find EVER, haha. I definitely feel like it makes me feel better about my blog being “clean” and on-topic (even if no one ever digs through the archives a lot).

    Renae @ Respiring Thoughts recently posted: Growing pains, break-ups, and evolving tastes
  19. Ooh I totally get where you’re coming from! I’ve been thinking of deleting my old posts a lot lately. I come across some of my old posts from time to time and they just make me cringe and I wanna go and hide under the covers in embarrassment. But then again, it’s also fun to laugh at myself and see how much I’ve changed over the years, y’know? I’ve also considered just putting them on private, but there’s not much fun in doing that.

  20. I was actually considering deleting some old posts, and then I read your original post discouraging it, so I didn’t! I have gone through my blog and deleted old tour posts – either for books I wasn’t dying about later, or because I had used the standard content, and wordpress.com frown upon it. Now if I do take part in anything tour-like I add my thoughts or a review to ensure it is “original” content included. The perils of WP.com!

    Rachel recently posted: A Great Reader Is…
    1. Ah, yes, you do have to be careful on WordPress.com. Sometimes they can even be a little overzealous with marking things as spam!

  21. I’ve never actually thoughts about this, until now.. There have been times when I went back and read a post/review and thought, “OMG did I SAY/DO that!?” But I feel like that shows my growth as a reader/blogger.

    If I were to delete any – it would be different posts/memes I tried out but didn’t work for me. Maybe some blog tours? Great topic! It really has me thinking now!

    1. Yeah I’m thinking of possibly deleting:

      * Memes with no substance
      * Blog tour spotlight/blitz/promo posts

      Those are the ones that feel like they have no real value/meaning and I wouldn’t be sorry to see them go.

      I’m keeping all my reviews/discussions though. πŸ™‚

  22. I look back at some of my early reviews and just want to cover my face and say “No, no please don’t go there.” So, I’ve decided to slowly update and improve those very early posts. Give some new love to some now older books, and clean up the messiness (in my view) at the same time. A part of me wants to keep everything forever just because – the logical side says fix it, improve it and use it better this time. A lot of work, yes, but if I do a few posts a week it won’t take exactly forever.

    Marsha @ Keeper Bookshelf recently posted: Review: Sinfully Yours by Cara Elliott
  23. I was thinking about this for an older site I started before I knew the things I know now about writing good, relevant content. My content is much more thought out now and well researched. Looking back at some of my early work is embarassing and while it’s hard to delete things you put a lot of work into at the time, I do think it’s important to think about the new readers who might stumble upon your website. Thanks for the advice!

  24. I did delete a lot of my posts a few months back. Best decision ever. I felt so free and my focus was much better. I felt that some of the old posts were creating a mental block in me because of how horrible they were(newbie problems!). But now, I don’t have to worry about that.
    I agree with Lisa on the irrelevant posts also. My blog started as a random blog and then shifted its focus to a book blog. So having gotten rid of the old scattered posts makes it easier to navigate.

    Lillian recently posted: Visualising The Night Circus
  25. I’ve considered deleting a few posts-mostly ones that were book meme ones from the first couple of years of blogging. While my review were deplorable in the beginning, I’m keeping them around because I personally like being able to look back and see how far I’ve come (for one thing I’m better now on discussing why a book did/n’t work for me).

    Definitely an interesting post!! =)

    Orchid @ The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia recently posted: On My Mind (3): Out the Window
  26. I’ve gone back and binge-deleted a few times when I felt like I’d either lost my focus or needed to spruce up my blog. 90% of what I deleted turned out to be meme posts or posts I put together when I thought I needed to publish something but had no good ideas. Lesson learned: not worth it.

    Abria @ Bee Splendid recently posted: How to Self Publish Outside the USA
  27. I deleted a bunch of posts a while back. When I went through all my posts to edit some things, some made me feel really embarrassed and I wasn’t proud of them. I decided that, if I couldn’t keep them with a good feeling, it was best to just delete them πŸ™‚ It was a great decision, because I want to own content I’m proud of. And while some older posts are still cringe-worthy like older reviews, I don’t hate them.

    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted: MIM #6. Three forgotten Disney movies.

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